Richey: Trout plant moratorium hits NorCal hard

By: J.D. Richey Journal Outdoors Columnist
-A +A
If you’ll recall, last week I wrote about the lawsuit filed against the Department of Fish & Game that’s resulted in a moratorium on trout stocking in waters throughout the state. Well, now we have a more complete picture of which waters will and will not receive hatchery trout between now and 2010. Here’s a closer look: Placer County Two of my favorite trout lakes in our neck of the woods will continue to get stocked — Hell Hole and French Meadows. Unfortunately, more local haunts like Halsey Forebay, Sugar Pine Reservoir and, just up the hill, the Truckee River are on the list of axed waters. Nevada County Okay, prepare yourself as this list is really going to hurt. The following waters will not receive trout plants for the foreseeable future: Bear River, Boca Reservoir, Bowman Reservoir, Donner Lake (so much for that late spring jumbo mack bite!), Fordyce Lake, Martis Creek Reservoir, Prosser Reservoir, Rollins Lake, both upper and lower Scotts Flat Lake, Lake Spaulding and a few lesser-knows. That pretty much covers everything, right? Well not so fast. Some of the high country waters will still receive fish such as Bullpen Lake, Carr Lake, Culbertson Lake, Faucherie Lake, Fuller Lake (float tubers rejoice!), Big and Little Island Lake, Jackson Meadows Reservoir, Rock Lake and several other smaller ones. El Dorado County The Cliff’s Notes version of the trout planting situation in El Dorado County looks like this: There are more lakes that will be affected by the moratorium than not. In the good news column, Upper and Lower Angola lakes, Kirkwood Lake, Loon Lake, Rockbound Lake, Round Lake, Rubicon Reservoir, Sawmill Pond, Shower Lake, Union Valley Reservoir and Walton Pond will get fresh loads of truck trout in the upcoming year. On the other hand, here’s a glance at the waters that are going to get the shaft: the American River’s Silver Fork (think Kyburz), the South Fork American at Coloma and Riverton, Dark Lake, Echo Lake, Ice House Reservoir (better get up there while there are some left!), Jenkinson (“Sly Park”) Lake, Stumpy Meadows, Taylor Creek, Wrights Lake and a couple other smaller high elevation numbers. Amador County Lake Pardee will keep getting stocked by the DFG, while popular Lake Amador won’t. The concessionaire at Amador, however, will continue to plant cuttbows from their private hatchery — and those are the fish you go to the lake for, anyway. This whole situation is a real bummer and not only is the lawsuit forcing the DFG to cease planting in these and many other waters across the state, it’s causing the Department to invest a ton of manpower and money in a time when both are in extremely short supply. Once again, here’s a little back story: In October 2006, Pacific Rivers Council and Center for Biological Diversity, represented by Stanford Law students, sued the DFG over fish stocking programs it has engaged in for more than 100 years, claiming that no Environmental Impact Report (EIR) had been completed for the programs. The result of the case was a court order requiring DFG to complete an EIR. DFG is engaged in the years-long and multimillion dollar EIR process, now scheduled to be completed in January 2010. To learn more and see a complete list of lakes in California affected by the situation, log onto the DFG’s webpage at In the meantime, get out there and catch a few trout while there’s still time! J.D. Richey is a 1986 Placer High graduate, and his outdoors pieces have been published nationally. He can be found on the Web at